I had a nightmare this week of being forced into an underground tunnel where girls and young women were lined up, and my job was to count them. I could hardly breathe and began to panic, knowing that if I didn’t get out into real air I would die! Scrabbling my way desperately to get past the line of women, I awoke gasping for breath.
Lying awake afterwards and trying to understand the dream, I remembered my own childhood, and the feeling of suffocating in a place that did not know my name. What I recall was trying to hide my shame of the fact that nobody was there taking care of me. No doubt this is how children locked detention centers must feel, humiliated by the reality that apparently nobody loves them enough to rescue them.
So I am wondering, these days, if we are not experiencing a collective sense of being lost and neglected, unseen by whoever is in charge? I myself am convinced that we cannot count on the men in charge, but need to do it ourselves and together. Do I have the courage and the vision to make my way through this dark labyrinth?
Well, let’s take a deep breath – for starters, at least. Most of us as babies being born needed the shock of a slap on the bottom to get our breaths going.
Maybe that smack on the butt represents the challenging childhoods so many of us have had – what if our hard childhoods were training for the difficulties ahead? Maybe being faced with problems is hard-wired into the human experience, and maybe we ought learn to enjoy the creative spurts that are inspired by such challenges!
Maybe this period of breakdown can also be a breakthrough of large proportions!
One night in the 1980s in China, where Herb was teaching after the end of the Cultural Revolution, I had a nightmare in which I was inadvertently leading all the rodents in Shanghai through dark tunnels out to freedom in the countryside. I had wandered into the opening, only to discover that others had followed – more and more of them! I couldn’t turn around and go out again even if I wanted to! I was totally lost, with no idea where the hell I was going – both in the dream and on the ground!
I awoke in absolute terror, my body struggling for breath, and in his sleep Herb gathered me into his arms and held me close until my dream faded, and the morning sun rose red through the polluted haze over Shanghai.
Reminded of squirrels – I was sitting beneath the fig tree in our garden the other day, when a squirrel hopped onto a limb above me, plucked a juicy ripe fig, nibbled half of it down and dropped the sticky remains splat! onto my upturned face! I could swear she took aim and was giggling as she scampered off.
I love these cheeky creatures, and envy the relaxed agility of their quick bodies. They seem to fear nothing and nobody, turning every move into a game, flicking their sumptuous tails behind them and flying effortlessly through the air!
I wish I could do that!
It’s their fearless chutzpah that captivates me! They are like that saucy Carmen who does just as she pleases, while the men lust after her and sing glorious love songs to her in their fabulous tenor voices! Car-me–en…!
Singing with a friend, for me, is akin to making love as we improvise songs on the spot, our eyes closed and our ears open, riffs pouring out effortlessly as we play with our voices and make brand new music, hands slapping our chests in syncopation to the beat, our voices rising sweetly into the high registers and ringing like bells! That! Glory!
It’s like catching a ride on the universe and the song simply singing itself, new harmonies supported by Everything There Is! And so gorgeous!
Whole phrases, whole compositions come through your partnership and you are where you belong and what you are meant to be doing, which is to discover the joy inherent in life in the world, and to sing it out into the air!
Can it be that we were born for these times, born to catch a ride on the universe and sing a new song in a new key to shift our sound into a higher range? I wonder if every one of us alive today chose to be here in this time to create the shifting of the world into a higher key, a new frequency of vibration, a new song?
We are Creators, after all. No need to be stuck in the same old, same old anything, wallowing in ancient mistakes.
In a Creation story from the Abenaki, a Northeast American people of the Iroquois Nation, when the Creator was making the first squirrel He was so enchanted by his creation that He made it enormous – a giant creature with a raucous bellow and a tail that could knock down trees! What a clamor! Alarmed, He grabbed his creation and hugged it in His arms, patting it down until it shrank into a tiny animal who went ch-ch-ch rather than BOOM BANG BOOM!
I imagine He went home to his spouse that evening and, relieved, and they had a good laugh at what He had almost unleashed into the world!
I wouldn’t mind being that fearless little creature with a bushy tail, quick as a wink and playful, knowing what I liked and just how to get it.
Not my assignment, sad to say, but I can copycat his humor and quick wits, dreaming up mischief with as much kindness and care as I can manage, and trusting that the universe – if not my peers – will come through with support for my wild ideas.
So breathe, my friends. Learn how to laugh at the hard stuff. Spit fig seeds out wherever you think fig trees might grow and make people laugh as the world shifts its spin and the planet tilts towards Aquarius.
Good luck to all of us!